You guys don’t care about John Donne. The first Facebook comment about my previous post was: “But what about Love Actually?” Philistines.
Assuming that one has to watch “Love Actually” every year at this time, and most of us do, whether we want to or not, how does one survive the ordeal? The answer, we have decided, is to fast-forward through the awful parts. For example, none of this Liam Neeson and his stepson crap:
Skip the boring unfunny porn-star-stand-in scenes with Martin Freeman:
And most especially ax the dreary Laura Linney and her crazy brother subplot:
What you’re left with are the Hugh Grant scenes, which are pretty funny; the Colin Firth scenes, which are moderately funny; the Keira Knightley scenes (which aren’t funny but, you know, Keira Knightley); the Brit-goes-to-America scenes, which are stupid but kind of funny; and the Alan Rickman/Emma Thompson scenes — because, you know, Alan Rickman and Emma Thompson. Also the Rowan Atkinson scene, which is priceless.
This results in a tolerable movie that is less than 90 minutes long.
I still don’t know how to cope with my wife pointing out all the many unbelievable things that happen in the course of those 90 minutes: “Alan Rickman would never bring the necklace for his girlfriend home where Emma Thompson can find it.” “The Prime Minister would never come through Heathrow arrivals with everyone else.” “No school would have a Christmas play on Christmas Eve.”
I know all this. It’s your idea to watch the thing. Every year. It doesn’t become more plausible with the passage of time.
Now I’ll shut up until next year.
Update: No, I won’t shut up. Turns out that in my general befuddlement I forgot the best part of the movie: the Bill Nighy aging pop-star subplot. You can actually skip everything else (except maybe Keira Knightley) and just watch that. Here’s my favorite quote from Billy Mack:
Hiya kids. Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs. Become a pop star, and they give you them for free!
And his final line to his manager on Christmas Eve: “Now let’s get pissed and watch porn.”
Always good advice!